Merseyside businesses announce support of youth restorative justice programme

An L8 charity that runs a restorative justice programme for young people has announced a new partnership with two Merseyside businesses.

Housing association, Plus Dane Housing and general building contractors, Penny Lane Builders will both lend their support to Mandela8’s Roots & Wings programme in 2024, delivered in partnership with Taking Shape Association.

Roots & Wings supports young people who lack positive role models and are at risk of criminal exploitation, as well as those who are experiencing violent crime or live in fear of violent crime on a daily basis.

The programme has been running annually since 2020 and has seen 28 young people graduate from the scheme, earning a total of 72 AQA qualifications between them in the process. The project is supported by Mandela8 patron, LFC and England international, Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Sonia Bassey MBE, Chair of Mandela8, said: “These young people live in areas of high deprivation with high levels of crime and are frequently disengaged from school and at risk of permanent exclusion from school. We are delighted to see our programme supported by businesses that are part of the infrastructure of our communities.

Working together to develop cohesive solutions is critical to the opportunities for our young people and sustainable communities. It is great to have the support of Plus Dane Group and Penny Lane Builders who both started out in Liverpool 8 and is a really positive way forward for us all”.

The programme includes restorative justice practices and aims to find enduring solutions to prevent young people from becoming involved in crime and violence and supports them to recognise consequences; understand cause and effect; reduce naivety; and increase their resilience and strength to ‘not get involved’.

Roots and Wings also supports cultural change around the acceptability of carrying weapons and succumbing to peer pressure.

Plus Dane Chief Executive, Ian Reed, said:“I am really pleased to be supporting the Mandela8 Roots and Wings programme. We started in L8, with 400 terraced homes in 1976 and we continue to invest in the area today. Supporting this inspirational programme, helping young people in the communities we serve, is a perfect match for us. Working together we want to help steer young people away from crime and create a vibrant, safe community for generations to come.” 

Penny Lane Builders, Chief Executive, Gerard McEvoy, said: “At PLB we started our business in 1996 in the L8 area.  Today we still work predominantly in the Liverpool area and we care about the success of our local communities.  Part of our investment in the success of the communities is that we support innovative programmes that have real impact.  We are proud to support young people in the Liverpool area via the Roots and Wings Young Leaders Programme and look forward to watching the young people progress over the 12 weeks.”

Kevin Stuart from Taking Shape Association said“Roots & Wings is not just about giving these kids good experience with quality intervention and love. We support community empowerment by changing mindsets and shaping futures without compromise, which they deserve.”

Stephen Nze, Mandela8 Ambassador said: “To see the young people who come on the Roots and Wings programme and having a understanding of the young people and why they have joined – it’s great to see how they engage with Kevin and the team, and the difference it has made to many of those young minds; how they think about themselves, their families, and wider society. It’s incredible to see. Thanks to all who support this programme and support the young people and their families who we engage. It does make a difference.”

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Pictured: (Left to Right) Mandela8 Ambassador, Stephen Nze; Nelson Mandela’s daughter, Dr Makaziwe Mandela; Mandela8 Chair, Sonia Bassey MBE; and new Mandela8 Trustee, David Brown.)

Liverpool charity Mandela8 have announced their newest trustee to join the organisation’s Board.

David Brown has over 35 years of experience working in Social Housing both locally in Liverpool and across the UK in a varied career.

Currently Director of Pine Court Housing Association, Brown has held several Non-Executive Director roles in Black-led organisations and community projects including the Toxteth Tigers Community Mentoring programme – working with local disadvantaged young people primarily from a BME background – Mandela House supported housing project for young BME people in Liverpool, and Arawak Walton Housing Association based in Manchester, delivering housing and community services to local BME communities.

Brown will join Mandela8 as a trustee following the official opening of the new memorial to Nelson Mandela in Princes Park, L8 this past July. Brown also joined current Mandela8 Board members and ambassadors at Hatchards in London last month to celebrate the launch of a new book written by Dr Makaziwe Mandela (daughter of Nelson) and attend a Black History Month themed Q&A panel.

Chair of Mandela8, Sonia Bassey MBE said: “We are delighted that David has agreed to join our Board at Mandela8. He is committed to anti-racism and inclusion and comes from a family of local activists. His leadership, mentorship and management qualifications will make him a valued member of our team as we enter a new era for the charity following the memorial’s completion this year.”

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We are less than a week away from achieving what was a dream 10 years ago.  Tuesday the 18th July is a day for celebration to realise that dream when we launch a memorial to Nelson Mandela.

This memorial has been achieved through years of hard work, determination and a lengthy consultation with the Mandela family, the local community, residents of Princes Park and civic leaders.

What was fundamental to us throughout this consultation was that the memorial signified the pride and respect the community have in Liverpool for Nelson Mandela and what he achieved in fighting for social justice.  The memorial signifies a place where people can come to learn, reflect and feel proud of what can be achieved when communities come together from different parts of the world.

We fully recognised that to achieve our goal of installing this memorial that everybody’s voice mattered and that is why we undertook extensive consultation throughout each stage of the development. 

In 2019 we launched the memorial, and we went through a formal planning process in which the impact on wildlife and animals was considered.  It is with great sadness that we have to notify people that objections have been raised at this very late stage by somebody concerned for the environment.  

We do not dispute that these issues are raised out of a genuine passion for wildlife.  However, we are extremely concerned that this issue may now be hijacked by far-right groups who will use this platform to bring disruption to this special day.  

Mandela8 would like to assure everybody, that the impact of the memorial on wildlife and the environment was fully considered throughout the consultation process. There are things we have put in place which have encouraged the wildlife in the area to thrive; but fundamentally Princes Park is an inner-city park in an area where many people do not have access to a garden or open space.

We ask that everybody who attends the event embraces this special day in recognition of Nelson Mandela who is an icon to us.  Please stand beside us and share our passion to educate people to love not hate.

Mandela8 Board of Directors

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Why a Nelson Mandela Memorial at Princes Park?

The vision brought together by Mandela8 following the death of Nelson Mandela in December 2013 was to see a permanent artwork established in the Liverpool 8 area to celebrate and commemorate Nelson Mandela’s outstanding achievement for humanity and the strong links between Liverpool and South Africa. The decision to locate the memorial in the Joseph Paxton designed Grade II listed Prince’s Park followed local consultation and engagement processes and an open design tender. The memorial reflects not only the meaningful legacy of Nelson Mandela but the significant history of anti-apartheid activism in Liverpool, further detail of which can be found at Mandela8. This was reflected in the establishment of the Sunburst Gates, a key listed feature in Princes Park, as the location for a temporary memorial to his legacy following his death.

It is an exciting opportunity to showcase a significant artwork and memorial that will be integral to the process of change and promotion of diversity, humanity and equality: key principles that Nelson Mandela campaigned for all his life. The memorial design reflects an outdoor classroom to educate people of all ages about humanity, social justice and how to celebrate each other for our differences. A fundamental element of this education will also be environmental education, including the work done by ourselves, Liverpool City Council, Friends of Princes Park and others to improve the park, protect the wildlife, increase the wildlife, and continuing to value and protect wildlife in a cohabited space. Working with a range of people and organisations we want the space to be a place of cohesion and education.

Nelson Mandela cultivated a garden from 16 oil barrels when he was in Pollsmoor prison.

“A garden was one of the few things in prison that one could control. To plant a seed, watch it grow, to tend it and then harvest it, offered a simple but enduring satisfaction. The sense of being the custodian of this small patch of earth offered a small taste of freedom. In some ways, I saw the garden as a metaphor for certain aspects of my life. A leader must also tend his garden; he, too, plants seeds, and then watches, cultivates, and harvests the result. Like the gardener, a leader must take responsibility for what he cultivates; he must mind his work, try to repel enemies, preserve what can be preserved, and eliminate what cannot succeed.”

— Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Who are Mandela8?

Mandela8 started as a campaign in the Liverpool 8 community after Nelson Mandela’s passing. This campaign grew and Mandela8 was formally established as a charity in 2017. Mandela8’s initial vision was to see an internationally recognised permanent artwork that functioned as a unique space for education, performance, conversation and contemplation established within a Toxteth Liverpool 8 heritage site, to celebrate, commemorate and pursue the legacy of Nelson Mandela’s outstanding achievement for humanity. Since its establishment Mandela8 have delivered and supported a number of initiatives in L8 and beyond including the annual My 67 Minutes programme (where people give 67 minutes of their time to do acts of kindness for others representing the 67 years Nelson Mandela fought for social justice and human rights); the Roots & Wings programme for young people at risk of criminal exploitation; the introduction of the Mandela Field of Hope (a wildflower meadow established in the park during Covid 19 (securing all funding) to enhance biodiversity and provide both habitat and sources of food for wildlife and a colourful visual display for park visitors); The Angela Holligan Book Collection and the development of the Princes Avenue Steps Scheme.

More details about Mandela8, their work in the community and their patrons can be found at mandela8.org.uk

What is Nelson Mandela’s connection to Liverpool?

Liverpool was an active city in anti-apartheid, boycotting South African goods and campaigning to free Nelson Mandela from prison, with local activists in Liverpool 8, union representatives and others being involved. Liverpool held the first Freedom Festival for Nelson Mandela in Liverpool 8. Liverpool City Council gave Nelson Mandela the Freedom of the City in 1994.

Nelson Mandela’s importance to Liverpool is huge. In Toxteth, Liverpool 8, Mandela remains a highly significant role model to the community. In the 1980s Liverpool 8 was tireless in its support of the anti-apartheid struggle through demos, product boycotts, park runs and the Free Nelson Mandela Campaign.

Apartheid (apartness) was a brutal system of racial segregation and white supremacy in South Africa. The world-wide anti-apartheid movement grew throughout the ’60s ’70s and ’80s in its support for Black South Africans and other minority groups living under this oppressive system. This support was inspired by figures like Nelson Mandela, whose eventual rise from political prisoner to the first Black President of South Africa, turned him into a global icon for freedom and equality.

To find out more about some of the strong connections between the city’s Black community, Nelson Mandela and the anti-apartheid movement please visit the display at the Museum of Liverpool’s Our City, Our Stories programme, a partnership programme which enables local people to represent their own interpretation of the museum’s themes and objects. This display was created in partnership with the Mandela8 group. Liverpool 8 Against Apartheid | National Museums Liverpool (liverpoolmuseums.org.uk)

What will the memorial look like?

The designs for the memorial – as depicted on the project signage displayed in the park since July 2020 – are inspired by Mandela’s gardens at Robben Island and Pollsmoor Prison. His gardens were symbols of resistance, tools for resilience, spaces for reflection and platforms for community. The food grown in Mandela’s gardens provided a resource to counter the food inequality linked to racial discrimination in the prison system, which provided less nutritious rations to non-white prisoners, and offered Mandela an opportunity to gain trust with prison guards and wardens. He resourcefully bartered the food he grew for study materials, including the language studies which gave him a voice in the room when it came to prisoner rights, and later, key diplomatic negotiations.

The therapeutic and purposeful act of gardening helped Mandela keep focus, resilience and resolve through nearly three decades of prison. And not only did Mandela’s Garden at Robben Island provide a space for dialogue, political discussion and debates, but it gave cover to hide Mandela’s

original manuscripts while the copies were smuggled off Robben Island. These texts, written collectively by Mandela and his comrades in prison, formed the basis of Long Walk to Freedom, as well as his public speeches and words which have moved the world.

The Princes Park scheme includes a new ‘Freedom Bridge’, pavilion and 32 cylindrical stonework pedestals inscribed with inspirational Mandela quotes, chosen through consultation:

Who designed the Mandela Memorial?

Wayward were commissioned by Mandela8 following an open design commission exercise to develop the Memorial, in consultation with local communities and stakeholders. The commission sought to marry the legacy of Mandela with the heritage of L8 and the grade 2* listed Princes Park designed by Joseph Paxton. The final design has many synergies with Nelson Mandela’s journey:The Memorial will be installed on the island in Princes Park Lake and Nelson Mandela was incarcerated on Robben island for 18 years;The Island was previously connected to the mainland in the Park by a bridge and before the lake improvement in 2020 was often accessible due to low water levels. Nelson Mandela’s life works and struggles were all about building bridges, connecting people and breaking down barriers;The Memorial will be installed in a garden setting and Nelson Mandela established gardens in Pollsmoor prison as it was one of the few things he could control;

The Memorial will be made of limestone and limestone was the stone Nelson Mandela quarried in prison;

How have the community been engaged in its development?

What measures will be put in place to ensure wildlife are protected on the island once the memorial is installed?

Mandela8 have always been open to discussion about the memorial. The memorial will be a place where we expect users to be respectful of the space as a place for cohabitation by wildlife and people. The memorial will be a wonderful space for us to education people about humanity and social justice and peace. It is an outdoor classroom, designed to be used by schoolchildren, so offers significant opportunity to educate young people about the environment and how to protect it and all living things on it.

How has the project been funded?

The memorial has primarily been funded using allocations from planning contributions made by developers (known as section 106 agreements). These contributions are made to improve Liverpool open spaces and allocated by Liverpool City Council to open spaces in the vicinity of contributing developments. In addition Mandela8 have been actively fundraising and have been successful in receiving a Heritage Lottery Grant for their engagement and education programmes and sponsorship and donations from a range of Mandela8 supporters.

What works are being undertaken?

In order to create the final memorial there are a number of activities being undertaken off and on site by specialist contractors. Offsite we have the fabrication of the bridge; the creation of the 32 cylindrical stoneworks; bespoke engraving and the production of the limestone cladding. On site there will be the installation of the foundations; installation of temporary platforms; the siting of the 32 cylinders on the island; installation of the final bridge; stone cladding and paving plus the pathway connections. The entire programme of works is currently estimated at 12 to 14 weeks and takes into account the Mandela week visit to see progress on site and celebrate the commencement of the memorial.

How are you managing construction work in a parks environment?

Throughout the construction the park will be open to the public however there will be a controlled area for the contractors to operate within. This will include the closure of one pedestrian pathway immediately adjacent to the island. There however will remain access for the public through other routes to still complete a full circuit around the lake. The public will not be permitted within the construction area. A similar process was followed for the major improvement works that happened previously, but on a much larger scale.

What about wildlife during the construction?

When working in a park environments contractors have the same controls around creating safe working places and managing impact including waste as they do in any other development. Whilst the installation of the memorial involves several specialist contractors, the construction area will be led by one lead contractor Horticon who will have the overall responsibility for these controls. There are also additional considerations when working in greenspaces. For the installation of the memorial at Princes Park this includes managing works within a heritage park and impact of wildlife. As part of this immediately prior to commencement on site there will be a final full assessment of bird nesting in and around the island given the legal obligation to not disturb nesting birds. This includes establishing a buffer zone around the construction areas and actively monitoring these throughout the works.

What happens when the memorial is complete?

Once construction is complete the memorial becomes park of the public features of the park and is accessible to the public to view and enjoy. Given the aspiration and design of the memorial the intention is that local schools and groups will utilise the space as an outdoor education space. To book this space in the future please search park events at www.liverpool.gov.uk and contact us directly.

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A new mural inspired by Nelson Mandela is nearing completion in Liverpool 8.

The artwork created by John Culshaw, infamous for his range of murals across the City of Liverpool, was commissioned by local charity Mandela8, and is set to transform the beginning of Princes Avenue.

Locals have seen the mural develop day-by-day on the feature wall of the Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre (KIMC) with a wave of excitement building over the past few weeks until its completion. The end result is set to be a stunning tribute with a strong message from Mandela himself – “education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world”.

Sonia Bassey MBE, Chair of Mandela8 said: “This has been a while in development behind the scenes and adds to the already significant regeneration along Princes Avenue that has seen Mandela8 influencing and shaping the very fabric of our community.  It will be a fitting tribute to one of the most significant leaders in the world in advance of the Mandela Family’s visit to Liverpool this July.  

We are delighted that KIMC allowed us to use this wall for the mural. John Culshaw is an amazingly talented artist, and it has been a privilege for Mandela8 to work with him. We have already seen a real excitement about the work developing and we envisage –  like all John’s work – it will become a major attraction for visitors”.

Artist John Culshaw looks to camera with his work-in-progress mural in the background. A cherry picker is parked below the mural.

The completion of the new mural will come ahead of the opening of the new Nelson Mandela memorial in Princes Park this July. Nelson Mandela’s daughter Dr Maki Mandela and his granddaughter, Tukwini Mandela will be on hand to cut the ribbon on the memorial dedicated to the iconic South African leader as part of a week-long visit this summer.

Stephen Nze, Mandela8 Ambassador, who has been leading site management said:  “It’s great to finally see this project come to life; the mural is set to become a landmark within our community. It’s been amazing working with John and it’s great that it will be placed where it will be visible to so many traveling through our community, as well as those that live within it, with a powerful message to all – young and old alike.”

Michelle Charters, Chief Executive Officer of KIMC said: “We are delighted to host this important image of Nelson Mandela created by the amazing artist John Culshaw, on our building. This visual recognition of the great man, his words and contribution to society will leave a legacy of hope for all as they walk or drive past our building.

KIMC are honoured to have been asked by Mandela8 to partner on this and see it as a fitting tribute to all who have been involved in development and projects leading up to and including the upcoming Nelson Mandela memorial in Princes Park, L8.”

Artist, John Culshaw said: “It has been a privilege working on this project with Mandela8. It’s amazing to get the opportunity to paint such an icon. Nelson Mandela is a man who has given so much to humanity and in fighting so hard to abolish apartheid, showed the world that the only way forward is equality.

I hope the the people of the community and visitors who see this mural, will take away a sense of the man and an understanding of his wise words.

Be sure to visit the site and watch this wonderful piece of artwork come together at Kuumba Imani, 4 Princes Rd, Liverpool L8 1TH.

Follow the artist, John Culshaw, on his Instagram page @john_culshaw86; follow the Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre on Twitter @kuumba_imani; and for more information on Mandela8, please visit mandela8.org.uk.

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Wally Brown (Photo: Ean Flanders)

Liverpool charity Mandela8 have announced two esteemed community leaders and activists as their newest patrons.

Maria O’Reilly and Wally Brown will both join the organisation ahead of the Mandela family’s visit to Liverpool later this year.  Nelson Mandela’s daughter Dr Maki Mandela and his granddaughter, Tukwini Mandela will be back in Liverpool to officially open the bridge and memorial dedicated to the iconic South African leader this July as part of a week-long visit. 

Born into a catholic Black family in Liverpool, Maria O’Reilly has always been committed to racial justice and equality, and still maintains an active interest and involvement in social justice, human rights and politics.  Being an activist from a young age, Maria has stood on many a picket line and led many demonstrations tackling racism, police brutality and fighting for social justice.

From 1979 to 1989 Maria worked for the Commission for Racial Equality, and became a Senior Community Relations Officer, and from 1989 to 2002 she was a Coordinator in the L8 Law Centre, engaged in the provision of legal and quasi-legal services.  This role came on the back of her tireless fight as a member of the Liverpool 8 Defence Committee for the rights of people of all ages arrested as part of the 1981 Uprisings.  The Liverpool 8 Law Centre was a pinnacle resource in the community providing much needed legal and social justice services to the marginalised community of Liverpool 8.

Maria O’Reilly

Maria O’Reilly said: “I can think of no higher honour than to be a patron of a legacy left by Nelson Mandela and built on by Mandela8, supported by his daughters to educate young people with the skills to uphold racial justice and equality”.

Wally Brown is well known for his revered work locally and nationally.  His life as a youth leader worker at the Methodist Centre established Wally as one of the most respected men in Liverpool 8 by young people. Wally was born in Liverpool 8 and went on to become the liaison between the Liverpool 8 community and the authorities during the 1981 Uprisings as part of the Lord Gifford Enquiry.

Wally also became the first Black person to chair the Merseyside Community Relations Council and was appointed principal at the city’s Community College, transforming its portfolio and access for people from diverse backgrounds. Later, in 2002, he was awarded  the honour of Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to education. In 2012, Wally was given the ultimate honour in Liverpool by receiving the Freedom of the City, an honour he accepted as a figurehead for all the people he has worked with and the community of Liverpool 8.

Wally Brown, CBE said: It is a great honour to be invited to become a Patron of Mandela8.  I have long admired how Sonia and her Board have nurtured the seed of Mandela8 to become what it is today. I look forward to working with Sonia her board, patrons and all those involved, to help Mandela8 continue to grow, influence and educate”.

Chair of Mandela8, Sonia Bassey MBE said: “It is an honour beyond words to have both Maria and Wally join us as patrons. They are people Mandela8 holds in high regard and are an example of what good Black role models look like. We are truly grateful for leaders like Maria and Wally. Growing up they were my role models, and they paved the way to show me and others, that as young people, we could aspire, and in a community that is oppressed that is so important. Whilst they have not always been visible in the work of Mandela8, they have both guided and supported the organisation behind the scenes from the beginning, so we are extremely excited to now to see them at the fore”. 

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The following statement outlines our position regarding our concerns about the rising tide of allegations and attacks levelled at Mayor Joanne Anderson since her appointment as the first Black female Mayor to be elected in the UK and the first female elected Mayor of the City of Liverpool. These attacks are veiled as being levelled at the mayoral role rather than the person but appear to be quite personal and unwarranted.  Please see our statement in full on the link below.

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If you wish to support this statement by adding the name of your organisation then please contact:

Blackorgscollective@gmail.com

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A Liverpool charity has launched a book loan scheme to increase understanding of diversity within schools, and ’empower, encourage and educate’ all children in the City Region about diversity and inclusion.

Mandela8 – the organisation behind the Nelson Mandela memorial soon to be opened in Princes Park –  earlier this year were gifted a collection of books by a relative of the late Angela Holligan, an activist who was born in Liverpool 8. Following discussions with her family, it was decided that the collection would be loaned to local schools as part of a scheme stretching across the Liverpool City Region in her memory, launching as a part of Black History Month.

Now, following funding from LCVS, the Mayoral Neighbourhood Fund and the Austin Smith Small Grants Fund, the resource will grow for the next 12 months, with additional books donated and dedicated by Angela’s family.  Mandela8 have also said they would like to continue to build the resource for schools by encouraging donations from others beyond the initial 12 months of the scheme.

On hearing of the donated books, Angela’s grandson, Wade Holligan said: “My Grandmother had a kitchen and boxes full of teaching aids. She would sit by my side for hours teaching me things from English to history and also about my roots. For this – and numerous other things – I’ll be forever grateful.”

Angela lived an eclectic life with a constant focus on helping her local community. She moved to London at an early age to get married but soon returned to Liverpool as Personal Assistant to Michael Heseltine during the task force times and immediately joined with local groups fighting for the rights of others.

A founding member of Liverpool Black Sisters, Angela was particularly focussed on Black women’s empowerment. She spent many volunteer hours in the community as a member of the Liverpool 8 Defence Committee, set up to support people during and after the Toxteth Uprisings. As a member of The Black Elders Group Angela organised many community events and provided companionship to elders, taking African home cooked food to those who needed a hot meal. She often held an open kitchen where immigrant community members would go to learn how to speak English and she was employed by various schools and colleges throughout Liverpool.

Sonia Bassey, Chair of Mandela8, said Angela was a warrior woman for racial justice whose passing is a sad loss to her family, friends and community and it is fitting she leaves us a legacy of love, courage and learning through the Angela Holligan Book Collection.

We have all heard too many stories of children made to feel ashamed of their skin colour, heritage, natural hair and their identity as a whole. Through exposure to the books identified for this scheme, young Black children will be allowed to explore positive representations of Blackness and feel proud of their identity, away from all the negative noise online and across social media.

We would also like children in schools to know who Angela was so they understand why the books were gifted in her name; this could be a discussion point in classes or be part of workshops and book reading sessions, or reading support sessions with mentors. Each book will come with stickers and an information sheet about Angela’s life and work.”

Positive racial identity in children’s early education is seen as an increasingly important aspect of their development. Dr Aisha White, Program Director at PRIDE (Positive Racial Identity Development in Early Education) has noted that there are huge challenges for families raising their children in an increasingly racialized society. Her research suggests that if racist views become more visible and prominent (ie. through social media), Black children may “struggle to survive and thrive physically, emotionally and psychologically in an environment that does not value Blackness”.

Studies have also shown that in families where there is Afrocentric-learning, the children have improved problem solving skills and better recall of facts in school compared to those families without.

Neil Verdin, Headteacher at Pleasant Street Primary School, said “This scheme is a valuable way to support our family of schools; celebrating the cultural diversity of our local community and beyond. Quality texts depicting the lives of diverse role-models can serve as inspiration to children from all backgrounds.”

The book scheme will initially be rolled out to 18 local schools in the DGT cluster (Dingle, Granby and Toxteth) with more to be added as Mandela8 build their collection, with plans for the scheme to cover the entire Liverpool City Region over the next two years.

The school libraries involved in the scheme will dedicate standalone areas to the scheme with discussion and workshops taking place to raise awareness of what it means to be Black, build children’s’ confidence and give them the tools to take into later life so that they do not feel ashamed about any aspect of their identity or heritage.

The scheme is also going to be replicated in local communities by Mandela8 in partnership with Granby Toxteth Development Trust, with discussions currently taking place between the two organisations. Lindsey Guy from the Trust said“We are delighted to be working with Mandela8 and supporting the Angela Holligan Book Collection to reach and inspire young people from the diverse communities we serve.”

For more information on Mandela8, visit their website at mandela8.org.uk and for more information about the scheme, please email mandelaliverpool8@gmail.com

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Mandela8 is encouraging the people and businesses of the region to carry out acts of kindness for 67 minutes to mark Mandela Day this July.

Nelson Mandela spent 67 years of his life supporting social justice and human rights before he officially passed the baton to others on his 90th Birthday – on the 18th July – now officially named ‘Mandela Day’ each year. At a special ceremony in Hyde Park, he asked everyone to spend 67 minutes of their time taking part in an act of kindness for someone else.

Mandela8 is now spearheading the ‘My 67 Minutes’ campaign to encourage everyone to take that 67 minutes out of their day to do something special, whether it be for a family member, friend or for their local community.

Sonia Bassey, Chair of Mandela8 said, “The idea of Mandela Day is that everyone has the ability to make an impact and do something in their own way to change the world and the world of those around them. We want to see thousands of individual acts of kindness all across the world, ideally on Mandela Day – Sunday 18th July – or in the week leading up to the day itself, which we’ve named Mandela week, from the 12th – 18th July.”

Mandela8 have provided an online brochure of ideas and activities on their website, which can be carried out by individuals, community groups or businesses.

Some of the ideas in the brochure include litter-picks, carrying out jobs for a vulnerable neighbour, and donating to local foodbanks. Those taking part can share their ideas and successes with others online using the hashtag #Mandela8My67 and encourage others to get involved.

“This year we will obviously have to continue to take part in activities that do not risk the spread of coronavirus or break any local restrictions” Sonia continued. “With this in mind, our new brochure has lots of COVID-safe ideas for activities that you and your family members can take part in.”

Mandela Day was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009, to acknowledge the revolutionary leader’s values and dedication to the service of humanity and struggle for international democracy and peace throughout the world.

The day remembers Mandela’s achievements in working towards conflict resolution, democracy, human rights, peace, and reconciliation.

 Liverpool has its own special relationship and connection with Nelson Mandela, dating back to his time in prison. When those in the city became aware of Apartheid – the system of legislation that upheld segregationist policies against non-white citizens of South Africa – and Nelson Mandela’s incarceration, community activists, unions and local people from all walks of life came together to support the Free Nelson Mandela Campaign. Mandela was gifted the Freedom of the City in 1994 and a Civic Reception was held in his honour 20 years later in 2014.

In previous years, iconic buildings across the Liverpool City Region lit up yellow for Mandela Day and Mandela8 are asking everyone to encourage their own place of work to do the same this year.

St George’s Hall was one of the city’s historic buildings included in the line-up; a building which has its own recent links with the Mandela family. A series of prints, drawn by Nelson Mandela himself and known as the ‘Struggle’ series, were gifted to Liverpool for a permanent display in 2018, and now take pride of place in St George’s Hall. Merchandise featuring the designs of the prints have also just been launched via The House of Mandela.

The My 67 Minutes campaign has the support of a host of key figures in the Liverpool City Region, including the newly elected Mayor, Joanne Anderson.

“Liverpool has a long and proud association with Nelson Mandela, from making him a Freeman of Liverpool through to the Mandela8 education and memorial project at Princes Park”, Joanne said. “He selflessly campaigned to make this world a better place for 67 years and we are delighted to be working in close partnership with Mandela8 to ensure his legacy is never forgotten. Many of us lead extremely busy lives but kindness costs nothing and I would encourage everyone to do a little bit on Sunday 18 July, which collectively will make a big difference to the lives of others.”

Sonia added, “Liverpool is built on strong political and social values and has experienced oppression but not on the scale of South Africa. So when awareness of the brutality of Apartheid in South Africa became known in Liverpool, the city united to support Mandela, the ANC and South African people.”

Mandela8’s Mandela Week takes place on week commencing 12th July, with Mandela Day itself taking place on Sunday 18th July 2021 across the world. For ideas on how to get involved in the My 67 Minutes campaign, click here.

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Mandela8 are delighted to partner with Inclusive Companies to deliver a webinar focusing on the My 67 Minutes Programme.

Nelson Mandela spent 67 years supporting social justice and human rights before he passed the baton to others on his 90th Birthday, 18th July – now officially named Mandela Day – asking them to spend 67 minutes of their time to do an act of kindness for someone else.

The ‘My 67 Minutes’ campaign encourages everyone to take 67 minutes out of their day – one minute for every year that Mandela fought for human rights and social justice – to do something for someone else or for their community.

We want to see thousands of individual acts of kindness all across the world, ideally on Mandela Day – Sunday 18th July, or in the week leading up to Mandela Day itself.

During this session, Sonia Bassey MBE, Mandela8 Chair, and Dawn Morris, Mandela8 Trustee, will share how you, your organisation or your communities can get involved. There will also be the opportunity for Q&A from the audience as we explore ideas to celebrate this commemorative occasion.

This webinar will provide you with an overview of the My 67 Minutes programme established by Mandela8 and what it entails.

WATCH HERE

Promotional graphic for an upcoming webinar

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12/07/2023

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